Breaking News:Dangerous Delays: What Washington State (Re)Teaches Us About Cash and Cannabis Store Robberies [REPORT]

State & Local Legislatures

RSS Feed for this category

Marijuana Bill Snuffed Out

Localização: 
Lansing, MI
United States
Publication/Source: 
Lansing State Journal
URL: 
http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061129/NEWS04/611290350/1005/opinion

MI: Hearing on Medical Marijuana Bill Featuring Patient Testimony

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, the House Committee on Government Operations will hold a hearing on HB 5470, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, introduced by Rep. Lamar Lemmons III (D-Wayne County). The measure, similar to laws now in effect in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, would protect seriously ill patients using medical marijuana with their physician's recommendation from arrest and jail. WHAT: Hearing on HB 5470, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, in the House Committee on Government Operations. WHO: Scheduled speakers include: - Irvin Rosenfeld, one of five surviving patients still receiving medical marijuana from the U.S. government, in a program closed to new patients in 1992. Rosenfeld, a Florida stockbroker who suffers from a rare and painful condition called multiple congenital cartilaginous exostosis, has been receiving government marijuana since 1982. - Rochelle Lampkin, multiple sclerosis patient and grandmother from Detroit, who uses medical marijuana for pain relief. - Martin Chilcutt, Navy veteran from Kalamazoo, who used medical marijuana to relieve pain and nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy. - Don Murphy, former Maryland state legislator; executive director, Republicans for Compassionate Access. - Rep. Penny Bacchiochi (R), Connecticut state legislator. WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 10:30 a.m. WHERE: Room 326, House Office Building, corner of Ottawa Street and North Capitol Avenue. For more information, please visit www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.
Data: 
Tue, 11/28/2006 - 10:30am - 5:00pm
Localização: 
United States

Drug Raids: Atlanta Police Kill Woman, 92, Who Shot Invading Officers

Three undercover Atlanta police officers who kicked in the door of an elderly Atlanta woman to serve a no-knock search warrant for drugs were shot and wounded when the woman opened fire on the intruders. They returned fire, killing 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston inside her home.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/kathrynjohnston.jpg
Kathryn Johnston
Friends, neighbors, and relatives of the woman described her as a long-term neighborhood resident who was feeble and frightened, rarely letting even friends and neighbors enter her home, which she kept locked. She apparently opened fire as the police raiders broke through burglar bars on her front door. Johnson fired five shots from a revolver, wounding the three officers before she was killed by two shots to the chest.

As anger and concern grew in the community, Atlanta police worked urgently to explain and justify the killing. During a Wednesday press conference, Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher said police had purchased drugs from an unknown man earlier in the day at the Johnston residence and returned the same evening with a no-knock search warrant. That man was not found, but police said they found an unspecified amount of an unspecified controlled substance inside the home. Police originally said they knocked and announced their presence before entering the home, but that is now in doubt.

"It was a very tragic and unfortunate incident," said Assistant Chief Dreher, who added that Johnston was not suspected of selling drugs and that police knew nothing about her.

He got no argument from local activist the Rev. Markell Hutchins on that point. "This is one of the most tragic cases of police-involved use of force, not only in Atlanta, but in the nation," said Hutchins, who had counseled the family, and set up a meeting with a law firm. "It appears Mrs. Johnston was a model citizen. A good citizen and a matriarch of the community," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"A confrontation with police and a 92-year-old woman don't go together," echoed State Rep. "Able" Mable Thomas (D-Atlanta).

Although Assistant Chief Dreher promised "a complete, thorough investigation" of the killing, neighbors and community activists did not wait to take to the streets. On Wednesday evening, more than a hundred people gathered in front of the Johnston home for a candlelight vigil to demand justice in the case.

Johnson is only the latest victim of overzealous law enforcement in police raids gone bad, the vast majority of them related to drug law enforcement. See "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America" by Cato Institute analyst Radley Balko for an overview of the subject.

It's time to legalize marijuana in Illinois (Chicago Sun-Times)

Localização: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/anderson/132863,CST-EDT-monroe12.article

Election 2006: Drug Reformers in Third Party Statewide Bids Poll Single Digits, But One Wins a State House Seat in Washington

Third party candidacies for statewide office by prominent drug reformers garnered significant attention for drug reform issues during the campaign season, but failed to make a dent in the two-party monopoly on competitive races for elected offices. On the other hand, one prominent drug reformer running as a Democrat will take a seat in his state's House of Representatives.

In Washington state, Roger Goodman, the guiding force behind the emergence of the King County Bar Association's Drug Policy Project, has won the District 45 Position 1 state representative race with 55% of the vote. While Goodman is known as an articulate advocate of substantive drug policy reform, he did not emphasize those positions during the campaign and was attacked in opposition mailings (quoting extensively from Drug War Chronicle) for speaking out on those positions.

In Alabama, Loretta Nall, running a write-in campaign for governor on the Libertarian Party ticket, reports that her write-in votes will not even be counted until a week from Monday. She also reports receiving numerous e-mails from angry voters wondering why their votes aren't being counted.

In Connecticut, Cliff Thornton, the founder of the Hartford-based drug reform organization Efficacy, ran for governor on the Green Party ticket. Despite a vigorous campaign and a full-fledged drug policy blitz, he could do no better than 1%.

In Maryland, long-time drug reformer Kevin Zeese ran a three-party third-party campaign for US Senate under the banner of the Green, Populist, and Libertarian parties, with a broad range of issues ranging from the war in Iraq to corporate control of US politics to drug policy reform, Zeese hoped to break through the bipartisan stranglehold on electoral office. Democratic nominee Ben Cardin ended up defeating his Republican challenger Michael Steele by 55% to 44%. Zeese got the difference, 1% of the vote.

Election 2006: Massachusetts Voters in Four More Districts Continue the Clamor for Marijuana Law Reform

Since 2000, marijuana reform activists associated with MassCann, the Bay State NORML affiliate, and the Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts have sponsored advisory marijuana reform questions in state representative and senate districts and have won every one. The trend continued this year, with reform questions in four more districts being approved by voters.

According to DPFMA board member John Leonard, a question asking whether representatives in the 1st and 12th Plymouth Representative Districts should be instructed to support marijuana decriminalization passed in both, with margins of 61% and 60% respectively. In the 3rd Middlesex Senate District and the 7th Norfolk Representative District, voters were asked to vote on questions asking whether to instruct their representatives to support medical marijuana legislation. Those questions won with 67% in Middlesex and 64% in Norfolk.

According to MassCann, more than 420,000 Massachusetts residents in 110 communities had voted to urge their legislators to embrace either decriminalization or medical marijuana before Election Day. We can now add another 63,000 pro-reform votes and four more communities to the tally.

In a debate last month, newly elected Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick said he's "very comfortable" with the idea of marijuana legalization but would veto a decriminalization bill if it came to his desk because "I just don't think it ought to be our priority." Hopefully the legislature will give him the opportunity to change his mind.

Sentencing: Public Hearings on Illinois SMART Act Pack 'Em In

Supporters of an Illinois bill that would allow judges to divert low-level drug offenders into county "drug schools" instead of jail or prison are holding a series of public hearings across the state to drum up renewed support for the stalled measure. If the turnout in Chicago is any indication, public interest is high.

Illinois House Bill 4885, the Substance Abuse Management Addressing Recidivism Through Treatment (SMART) Act", would appropriate $3.5 million to allow state's attorneys' offices to open drug schools where low-level drug offenders could have their cases dismissed and arrest records expunged after completing an eight-hour course and -- depending on a mental health and addiction assessment -- possibly undergoing drug treatment.

The bill would allow counties to opt to follow the example set in Cook County (Chicago), where District Attorney Dick Devine pioneered the drug school idea. In the Cook County Drug School program, first-time drug possession offenders are offered mental health screenings, addiction assessment, and an eight-hour drug education program, and some -- depending on their assessment -- may be ordered into drug treatment. The county spends roughly $350 per person per year on the program, compared to the more than $21,000 it costs to incarcerate someone for a year.

After being introduced in January, the bill stalled in the legislature this fall, but supporters were able to pass a resolution calling on legislators to participate in a series of public hearings on alternatives to imprisonment and issue a report on those hearings. Hearings have already been held in Champaign, East St. Louis, and Chicago, with more set later this month for Decatur, Rockford, Rock Island, and Waukegan.

At the October 25 meeting in the Ashburn Lutheran Church in Chicago, the Southwest News Herald reported that "hundreds of people crowded into the church for the hearing, with some coming on buses from as far away as Rockford." Convened by the Developing Justice Coalition, a statewide alliance of community-based social service and religious organizations working on issues such as sentencing reform, prisoner re-entry, and public, the hearing featured several dozen speakers, including many ex-prisoners who said their drug arrest records had dogged them ever since. The coalition was organized by the Safer Foundation, which works to help ex-prisoners re-enter society.

Turnout for the hearing was "phenomenal," said Ashburn Lutheran pastor the Rev. Pam Challis. "It has been a long time since we had to put chairs in the aisles," said Challis, looking around at the standing-room only crowd after the meeting. "It is indicative of the fact that this is needed."

"I am a product of incarceration. I was in jail twice, and while I was incarcerated I learned absolutely nothing," said drug educator Armando Fox. After the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council gave him "a second chance" he was able to turn his life around. "Sometimes the choices we make aren't always the best, but we really shouldn't just throw people in prison. They don't learn anything."

But with its current drug laws, the state of Illinois throws quite a few people in prison. It spends nearly $250 million a year on its prison budget.

Attending the hearing were state Representatives Mary Flowers (D-31st) and Esther Golar (D-6th). Flowers, a 23-year veteran of the legislature, accused the body of passing "bad legislation" with its zero tolerance drug laws that set strict sentencing guidelines for drug offenses. "Some of those crimes should have been probational. The only thing we did was dig ourselves a bigger hole at your expense," she said.

The legislature is out of session now, but the SMART Act will probably come to a vote in January. Advocates are doing all they can do to show lawmakers there is broad public support, and packing hundreds of people into a hearing on a relatively obscure piece of legislation is a good start.

Harm Reduction: New Jersey Needle Exchange, Needle Access Bills Advance

A bill that would allow up to six New Jersey municipalities to set up needle exchange programs and a companion bill that would permit the sale without prescription of up to 10 syringes at pharmacies passed the Assembly Health and Senior Citzens Committee Thursday. After more than a decade of efforts to win legislation that would allow drug users easier access to clean needles, it now appears the bills have momentum.

New Jersey politicians have begun lining up behind the bills. Before testimony at the committee Thursday, Chairman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) said bluntly, "This bill is going to pass." Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts and Gov. Jon Corzine have stated publicly they intended to legalize syringe exchange as soon as possible.

During testimony, state epidemiologist Eddy Bresnitz told lawmakers they needed to act now. "We should not be delaying another minute in putting life-saving tools such as syringe exchange programs in the hands of communities desperate to stop the transmission of blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and AIDS," he said. "Syringe exchange programs not only prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases but also help drug addicts get into treatment.''

The Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey office has been lobbying for the bills for several years now. "We're incredibly grateful for such a resounding vote of support on the part of the committee members," DPA's Roseanne Scotti told the Associated Press after the vote.

New Jersey: Key state Senate panel backs needle exchange (Press of Atlantic City)

Localização: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/newjersey/nj_politics/story/6837804p-6703884c.html

Vote Hemp Action Alert: Comment On Framing Rules Until October 30

Dear XXXXX,

Considering the bad news I gave you last week about Governor Schwarzenegger's veto, I am especially happy to report good news from North Dakota. The second-largest wheat exporting state, North Dakota is ranked ninth overall in agriculture exports and is just across the border from the thriving hemp farming provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan Canada. This important farming state will be the first to implement an industrial hemp farming law when it publishes rules on state licensing.

You can help make this happen by sending a letter in support of North Dakota's proposed rules. The deadline for comments has recently been extended to October 30, 2006.

While Vote Hemp has been organizing comments in support of the rules, Drug Watch International has mobilized anti-hemp activists to send letters in opposition. Despite their efforts, letters in support of the rules are outweighing those in opposition by a 4-to-1 margin. Help us keep a winning score by sending a letter now.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), also trying to derail North Dakota's hemp farming plans, sent comments quoting the 1999 report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) which expressed concern that Switzerland's industrial hemp program was being "used for the cultivation of more potent cannabis destined for the illicit market."

They failed to mention that by 2001, the INCB no longer cited concerns about Switzerland, and in its review of European Commission industrial hemp regulations it found them to be "effective" and "strict" and concluded that "the misuse of those regulations or the diversion of cannabis licitly cultivated in member states of the European Union is unlikely." Industrial hemp hasn't been mentioned in an INCB report since.

Help us counter the misinformation campaign being waged by Drug Watch International and the DEA. Give North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson the support he needs to bring industrial hemp farming back to North Dakota. Please take action now.

Sincerely,

Eric Steenstra
President

Angry Response to Schwarzenegger's Veto

· Opinion: The Mighty Pen

· Editorial: Governor's Late Vetoes

· Editorial: He Cleared His Desk, Clouded His Ideology

· Don't Hold Your Breath for Sense about Hemp


Opinion: The Mighty Pen

Long Beach Press-Telegram
October 4, 2006

[Ed. Note: The parts relevant to industrial hemp are excerpted below.]

Some of the bills that didn't deserve the ax:

Industrial hemp: The governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed farmers to grow industrial hemp. Since this grade of the plant doesn't cause intoxication, those who want to grow it to make paper, clothing and other products should have the right to also grow an industry.


Editorial: Governor's Late Vetoes

San Francisco Chronicle
October 3, 2006

[Ed. Note: The parts relevant to industrial hemp are excerpted below.]

He vetoed an industrial hemp bill (AB 1147 by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco) that would have been good for state farmers and good for the economy by reducing the importation of a popular product — and would not in any way have promoted marijuana cultivation or use.


Editorial: He Cleared His Desk, Clouded His Ideology

The Orange County Register
October 6, 2006

[Ed. Note: The parts relevant to industrial hemp are excerpted below.]

The governor also vetoed, wrongly, we believe, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, a bipartisan bill that would have allowed farmers to grow hemp products provided they do not contain any significant level of THC, the chemical that produces the high from marijuana. Critics were right that the veto showed an "irrational fear" of looking soft on drugs. Industrial hemp can be used to make clothing and a variety of consumer and food products, and has nothing to do with drug use.


Don't Hold Your Breath for Sense about Hemp

The Times-Standard
Eureka, CA
October 6, 2006

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of a bill to legalize the growing of industrial hemp as a valuable — and non- intoxicating — cash crop is a perfect example of federal control run amok ... as if we didn't have plenty of examples of that in California already.

Read more ...

 

Support Vote Hemp

 

Donate $25 and get a hemp sampler including protein shake, snack bar and lip balm


Donate $36 and get a Vote Hemp logo hemp hat

 

Donate $40 and get a Jim Pollock hemp t-shirt


Donate $45 and get a hemp documentary DVD

 

Donate $100 and get 12 assorted hemp body care products




Join our mailing list!

email: [email protected]

phone: 202-318-8999

web: http://www.votehemp.com

Localização: 
United States

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School